Honda Motor Co. is recalling more than 350,000 Civic vehicles in the U.S. over software issues that could cause the vehicles’ parking brakes to not engage properly, increasing the risk for rollaways and crashes. The recall covers model year 2016 Civic sedans and coupes with electronic parking brakes that may be affected by the software for the vehicles’ stability assist electronic control unit. The malfunctioning software could potentially cause the parking brake not to engage when it is applied right after the vehicles’ ignition is turned off. If the vehicle is in a gear other than park while the parking brake is deactivated, it is possible for the Civic to roll away and potentially cause a crash, the automaker said. “No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue, which was discovered through warranty claims associated with the illumination of the brake warning light,” Honda said.
Honda said if the parking brake malfunction occurs, the vehicle’s brake warning light will flash on its instrument panel to alert the driver. As of Oct. 4, Honda had received more than 300 warranty claims regarding the issue. Honda says that it conducted an investigation into the alleged defect between April and July in conjunction with Continental Automotive Systems Inc., the supplier of the vehicles’ electronic control unit. Initial testing discovered a communication error between the electronic control unit and the electronic parking brake caused by the vehicle’s tire deflation warning system. The warning system was designed to communicate with the ECU immediately after turning off the vehicle’s ignition, which could take up to four seconds to complete, Honda said. During that time, the parking brake is unable to communicate with the electronic control unit, resulting in the brake’s inoperability until the ignition is turned on again.
To fix the issue, Honda will update the stability assist electronic control unit software at no cost to customers. The automaker will begin to notify Civic owners beginning in early November. This is the third recall for model year 2016 Honda Civics, with the first coming in February, when the automaker sought to replace improperly manufactured piston assemblies in more than 42,000 vehicles equipped with 2.0 liter engines. The second came in August, with Honda recalling nearly 12,000 2016 Civic coupe models with damaged LED circuit boards in the tail light assemblies that made the lights inoperable, causing the vehicles to fall out of compliance with federal vehicle safety standards.
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